Sunderland Under 23s face off against West Brom in Premier League 2 this afternoon, but one name on the teamsheet has caused a few supporters to wonder what is going on.
Chris Maguire was one of the few players to impress during the Jack Ross and Phil Parkinson eras, often putting in all-action displays when it seemed those around him were not. The 32-year-old, who is out of contract this summer, has been named alongside the likes of Ellis Taylor, Ollie Younger and Dan Neill for the Under 23s this afternoon. In fact, the former Oxford man is the only senior players picked this afternoon for the youth side.
Maguire has bagged 27 goals in more than 120 outings for the Black Cats, including seven this season. However, he has fallen out of favour since Lee Johnson arrived at the club. He started the 1-0 defeat against Wigan the day Johnson was appointed and has only featured from the off in the EFL Trophy since then.
With his contract expiring and his involvement with the Under 23 side, it does suggest his time with the Black Cats could be coming to a close. That is certainly baffling a few supporters, who saw their side lose ground in the hunt for automatic promotion this weekend, losing 2-1 at home to Charlton in a rerun of the 2019 play-off final.
Even popular Sunderland fan site the Roker Report are baffled by Maguire’s continued omission, as demonstrated in this article released earlier today. It seems rank and file fans are baffled as to what the former Scotland international has to do to get a kick, especially is the automatic promotion push starts to fade.
Read some of their responses to today’s team news below.
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Why's Chris Maguire playing in the U-23s?
— Owen Davies (@OwenDav61960503) April 12, 2021
Maguire playing in the under 23s again pic.twitter.com/kgRAlUdYzU
— LJ (@SAFCLJ25) April 12, 2021
Has the same thing happened to maguire as what happened to mcgeady?
— Owensara (@Owensara5) April 12, 2021
Neil and Maguire should both be on first team squad
— John Bell (@pootzwar) April 12, 2021
whats going on with Maguire?
— Scott (@ScottDuffman) April 12, 2021
— Michael Cowie (@MikeyCowie1999) April 12, 2021